Dr. Alex Egbona, a two-term House of Representatives member, has advised President Bola Tinubu to submit his list of ministerial nominees along with their proposed roles.
He said Tinubu must “find individuals who are passionate in specific areas to take charge, those who have competence, knowledge, and have the leadership capital and have the capacity to think differently.
“There should be competence in the person’s specific field of study that is in line with the ministry that the individual is absolutely going to take care of.
“So what it means is that you will want to find individuals who are passionate in specific areas to take charge, who have competence, knowledge, and leadership capital, which means they must have honour written in their names and have the capacity to think differently. They would bring innovation to the table and are individuals who make things happen. They are action-oriented, filled with the pursuit of service, beyond self.”
According to Egbona, this would allow for more relevant questions to be asked during the screening process.
“To some extent, it is wrong to send ministers’ names without portfolio. Though it is the senate arm of the national assembly that screens ministers we believe very soon, the president, in the next two to three weeks, will send the names of ministers and may even attach their portfolios.
“Most times, what the senate does is to ask general questions but if it comes with portfolio and they say for instance, Mr AYZ, you are the minister of agriculture, all the questions will be towards agric. So if the president attaches ministry to the names, it will be very good.”
He also defended the Senate’s ‘bow and go’ policy, which exempts nominees with legislative experience from rigorous questioning as a gesture of comradeship.
However, Egbona emphasized the need for enhanced oversight function of the National Assembly and urged his fellow representatives to scrutinize the performance of ministries and parastatals.
“The bow and go culture is to promote comradeship. They are simply encouraging those that have been part of the system. Though there is no legal procedure for that, it is out of friendship.
“On oversight, in the 9th National Assembly, I have had the opportunity to attend some oversight but was not too encouraged with what we did. If you go to a ministry or parastatal, scrutinize what they are doing and if they are not doing well, bring a report saying they are not doing well. There should not be hide-and-seek business in oversight. That is what the 10th agenda is saying.”